The Committee's response to Government's consultation on permitted development rights for homeowners - Communities and Local Government Committee Contents


1  Introduction

1. On 12 November 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government published "Extending permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses: Technical consultation". The Government's proposed changes include increasing the size limits for extensions to houses and offices and for new industrial buildings. The proposal which we examine in this report is

Increasing the size limits for the depth of single-storey domestic extensions from 4m to 8m (for detached houses) and from 3m to 6m (for all other houses), in non-protected areas, for a period of three years. No changes are proposed for extensions of more than one storey.[1]

The consequence of the changes would be that fewer house-owners would need to apply for planning permission for dwelling extensions falling within the new permitted development limits.

2. The Government's intention to change the permitted development rights for domestic extensions was announced by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, as part of a package of planning and housing measures on 6 September.[2] In response we decided to take oral evidence from the newly appointed housing and planning ministers, Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Housing, and Nick Boles MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning. Ahead of the evidence session we invited written memoranda. One of the matters on which we asked for evidence was: "What will be the impact of the proposed changes to the rules on permitted development intended to make it easier to undertake home improvements such as house extensions?"[3] We received 40 memoranda and many raised concerns about the proposed changes to the permitted development rights for domestic extensions. When we took oral evidence from the minsters on 15 October these representations informed our questions, including those on the changes to permitted development rights.[4]

3. On 12 November Nick Boles wrote to us enclosing a copy of the consultation document. He said that the consultation exercise would run until 24 December. We have reviewed the written and oral evidence we took in October and have decided to respond ourselves to the consultation document in respect of the changes to the permitted development rights for domestic extensions. As we had sought written submissions for the session on 15 October it was not necessary to issue a fresh call for memoranda. We took the opportunity on 12 December to ask both Mr Pickles and Mr Boles further questions about the changes to permitted development rights when they gave oral evidence on the work of the Department.[5]

4. In this report we set out, in chapter 2, the Government's proposals and the points made in support and against the proposals. Chapter 3 contains our conclusions and response to the Government's consultation exercise.


1   DCLG, Extending permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses: Technical consultation, November 2012, para 6  Back

2   HC Deb, 6 September 2012, cols 400-01 Back

3   "Communities and Local Government Committee to take evidence from the new Ministers for Planning and Housing", Communities and Local Government Committee Press Notice, 12 September 2012 Back

4   Oral evidence taken before the Communities and Local Government Committee on 15 October 2012, HC (2012-13) 626-i; the written evidence cited in this report is published with this oral evidence. Back

5   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Communities and Local Government Committee on 12 December 2012, HC (2012-13) 693-ii Back


 
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Prepared 20 December 2012